Flip No. 70

Finding Common Ground Quickly with Flip Cards

A simple tool can help patients share their biggest concerns.

By Marguerite Balasta, Kristin Christensen, Diedre Darragh, Emily Seltzer, Matthew Van der Tuyn

Developed at Flip the Clinic Lab: Philadelphia

Doctors don’t get a lot of time with their patients—often as little as 15 minutes. With such a limited visit, it can be hard for clinicians to come up with a patient-focused agenda. So how can physicians be as productive and efficient as possible, while still eliciting the concerns and needs of their patients?

If patients walked into the exam room armed with their five greatest concerns or goals to present to their doctors, it would make a huge difference in understanding why a patient has come in for a visit and what the patient hopes to achieve. To make that happen, pre-visit triage assessments could include a laminated flipbook that prompts patients to consider and write down what they’re worried about before they meet with a care provider. Then, patients and doctors could quickly address patient concerns efficiently and directly, without cutting into appointment time. With this reusable tool, clinicians can quickly evaluate and treat patients with the patient’s needs in mind.


  • CKnoepke

    I love this idea and have been considering some specialist care applications for a similar concept for some time. What if there were certain treatments which we knew carried risks of particular patient burdens or other risks to quality of life, but the ways of managing or understanding these burdens, plans, or risks aren’t always well understood by patients? Traditionally, we try to create educational materials (brochures, websites, etc) – which provide high quality information, but it isn’t particular to the patient. Or we refer them to a support group which is highly responsive to their socioemotional needs, but is less effective in examining adjunctive or alternative medical treatments. Prompt patients to ask about their idiosyncratic concerns, and let the doctor use their knowledge – both about the patient themselves and the state of science more generally – to help inform better treatment planning.

  • Jeff Shub

    This idea is awesome AND something that my organization can help with. Please reach out if interested jeff.shub@gapingvoid.com